obscure
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /əbˈskjʊə(ɹ)/, /əbˈskjɔː(ɹ)/
  • (GA) IPA: /əbˈskjʊɹ/, /əbˈskjɝ/
Adjective

obscure (comparative obscurer, superlative obscurest)

  1. Dark, faint or indistinct.
    • , (translator), Dante Alighieri, Divine_Comedy#Inferno, 1, 1-2
      I found myself in an obscure wood.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Proverbs 20:20 ↗:
      His lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.
  2. Hidden, out of sight or inconspicuous.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene iii]:
      The obscure bird / Clamoured the livelong night.
    • the obscure corners of the earth
  3. Difficult to understand.
    an obscure passage or inscription;    The speaker made obscure references to little-known literary works.
  4. Not well-known.
  5. Unknown or uncertain; unclear.
    The etymological roots of the word "blizzard" are obscure and open to debate.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: малоизве́стный
Verb

obscure (obscures, present participle obscuring; past and past participle obscured)

  1. (transitive) To render obscure; to darken; to make dim; to keep in the dark; to hide; to make less visible, intelligible, legible, glorious, beautiful, or illustrious.
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The Merry VViues of VVindsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene iii]:
      They are all couched in a pit hard by Herne's oak, with obscured lights.
    • There is scarce any duty which has been so obscured by the writings of learned men as this.
  2. (transitive) To hide, put out of sight etc.
    • 1994, Bill Watterson, Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat, page 62
      I realized that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity.
  3. (intransitive, obsolete) To conceal oneself; to hide.
    • 1623 (first performance), John Fletcher; William Rowley, “The Maid in the Mill”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act 4, scene 2:
      How! There's bad news. / I must obscure, and hear it.
Synonyms Translations Translations


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